Friday, February 05, 2016
Second Mama In The Gym
One of the attendants, plus Xavier (a new guy in the teen class) and Xavier's friend Tyler (?) helped me put the new bag up in the above photo. Now there are five heavy bags hanging at LaFollette Park boxing gym. I should go to my supervisor and have him cross the Bob the Boxer punching bag off of the list of supplies I gave him. I would love to have that, but it's more of a want than a need at this point. I have enough heavy bags for the participants at this time.
Xavier had taken up boxing at the high school he attends, but he's never been in a tournament or boxing show. His form looks very good, and I'm hoping to get him into the Chicago City-Wide Boxing Tournament in April.
I learned that people can apply for their amateur boxing licenses at this year's Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament registration. People had been prohibited from doing that for a few years, and they were told to go to USA Boxing's web site to get a license. That will be good news for some of the teens and adults I have who may be interested in that tournament. Jesse looks like a strong possibility, but Yami may wait and compete in the park district boxing shows starting again this summer.
I still don't get why most of the youths think they can sign up for the boxing class themselves. Assuming that they have participated in other activities and classes at the field house, I would think they would know their parents have to register them. Over the past few weeks, there have been too many youths, mostly teens, who seem to think I can just put them on the attendance list. When I tell them the proper procedure to follow, I get a lot of confused looks. It's not rocket science.
Most of the under twelve years of age crowd have disappeared, including David and Devian who were the most consistent in showing up. Among the few that still come around, I've noticed that some only seem to show up on the days that sparring takes place. It appears that Michael, Earl, and TJ have been doing that lately (and Earl and TJ also have a habit of showing up a half-hour late to the gym). I always have to make speeches about how the whole workout needs to be done, just not one part of it. Besides, Michael is already in trouble -- again.
Turns out that one of the field house staff is a substitute teacher, and they were covering Michael's grade school class. The staff member asked me to let them know when Michael's parents showed up to pick him up. Michael allegedly was showing out in class. The staff member also correctly guessed that Michael doesn't pay attention in the gym, either. When it was learned that Michael's parents don't always come into the gym to get their son, the staff member said, "I'm going to be looking for them when they come inside the front door of the field house. I'm going to tell them about Michael's behavior."
After the staff member left, Michael began grumbling about them, and how he wasn't about to take discipline from his parents. I explained to Michael that he's always going to have to listen to somebody and be focused on the right things throughout his life.
Sometimes, I feel the same as a friend who told me about her trials with dealing with a church youth group: "I am so tired of playing second mama to these kids all the time!" I often find myself sounding like my late mother when I'm talking to the youths. I'm not crazy about that. But one of the good things about boxing is that the lessons learned there can be applied to other situations in their lives, and that is a good thing.